What is USTEP?

Are you thinking of applying to the College of Arts and Science, but your marks fell short of the entrance requirements? Do you want comprehensive support during your first year, and a tight-knit community of other students to study with? The College of Arts and Science's University of Saskatchewan Transition Entrance Program – USTEP may be just what you need!

USTEP provides a supportive learning environment that helps students overcome common first-year university challenges. Students in the program can register in a maximum of 18 credit units per year or nine credit units per semester through the College of Arts and Science.

Who should apply

  • Students under 21 whose high school grades do not represent their academic potential

How to apply

  • Submit an application to the University of Saskatchewan online: Application for Admission  
  • Select “USTEP” when prompted to choose program
  • Arrange submission of your final high school transcript and any final post-secondary transcripts if you have attended any other post-secondary institutions

Minimum academic requirements for admission

Five subjects with the highest grades will be used to calculate an admission average:
  • One Grade 12 English
  • One Grade 12 Math
  • Three other Grade 12 subjects with highest grades

USTEP Learning Communities

USTEP courses that make up the 18 required credit units in the program are offered in a learning communities model. A learning community is a small group of first-year students who take classes together and share some common interests. Arts and Science learning communities are designed to ease the transition into university by providing our first-year students with valuable opportunities to make friends, study and explore ideas together, and to develop the academic and personal skills to achieve their goals.

USTEP students gather in a weekly USTEP Hour led by two senior student peer mentors who facilitate sessions on study skills, goal setting and stress management; help students access academic, health, and other support services; and organize information sessions and social events. Today's peer mentors and many campus student leaders started university in a learning community, where they developed the friendships, confidence and skills that set them apart.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Access to first year university
  • Dedicated Academic Advisors
  • Access to popular first year courses
  • Weekly LC Hour with Peer Mentors
  • Small cohorts of students

Absolutely! The 18 credits units that you will take throughout the year will count towards your degree upon successful completion of your courses.

The program designed to see that first year students succeed in their transition to university life. Students under the age of 21 whose high school average is between 60% and 69% are eligible for the USTEP.

The first step for getting accepted to the USTEP is to apply to the U of S as an undergraduate, go to: https://www.usask.ca/admission/

Good question! The USTEP itself offers the courses within in the format of a Learning Communities Model. The USTEP refers to the entire program and the USTEP Learning Communities refers to the combinations of three courses offered along with Learning Communities Hour. There are 7 different Learning Communities combinations offered in each term.

A Learning Community (LC) is a small group of first year students (for USTEP there are 25 students in each LC) that take classes together and share common interests.

The Learning Community (LC) Hour is held once per week in each LC by successful upper year student peers, known as Peer Mentors. At the weekly LC Hour you will learn tips and tricks on how to succeed in university, build a community and strengthen your academic skills plus, make connections!

The LC hour is non-credit course and will not have any assignments.

No. Your Peer Mentors are students in their upper years of university. They facilitate your weekly sessions, some of which will focus on developing academic skills such as note-taking, study skills, exam preparation and time management. Most important, your Peer Mentors act as a resource for you as you navigate your way through your first year.

No the LC Hour is free and are non-credit courses with no tuition or fees attached.

However, you will be responsible for all tuition and fees associated with the courses in the USTEP Learning Communities you register in for Term 1 and Term 2.

Upon successful completion of the 18 credit units you have taken in the USTEP Learning Communities as well as remaining in good academic standing for a first year student, you will then move on to your second year of studies in the College of Arts & Science.

Yes, you may apply to transfer colleges upon successful completion of the USTEP. You are welcome to meet with an Academic Advisor from your prospective college of choice to discuss transferring programs and the requirements for admissions to that college here at the University of Saskatchewan.

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